Spotlight on Retiree Health Care Benefits for State Employees in 2013


An overview of the health benefits states provide for their retired employees and how they pay for them. (6/13)

Joshua Franzel, Center for Excellence, and Alex Brown, NASRA
Publication date:
Filed under:
Research Studies
Key findings:
  • Health care as a portion of overall public employee wage and benefit compensation has increased from 10 percent in 2004 to 12 percent in 2012.
  • Fewer state government units offer retiree health care benefits now compared to ten years ago.
  • Retiree health care obligations on a per capita basis vary widely among states.
  • Unfunded retiree health care liabilities are concentrated in a minority of states: of all state retiree health care unfunded liabilities, 80 percent are attributable to 12 states.
  • States use a variety of methods to reduce their retiree health care costs, most commonly shifting more costs to employees and retirees.
Download publication:
OPEB Spotlight 0617

This brief uses recent data to review the health benefits states offer their retired workforces; underlying funding issues; approaches states are taking to pay for retiree health care and address unfunded liabilities; and the policy and program changes states have made to retiree health benefits since 2009.